Healthcare play specialists help children cope with hospital
25 June 2015
Most adults feel a little anxious about going to hospital, but for children even a blood test can be terrifying.
In addition to those who are referred by their GPs, children and
young people account for one in four admissions to A&E.
Thankfully Southend Hospital has a dedicated team of
professionals known as the healthcare play specialist team, which
helps children (and their parents) to understand what is going on
and alleviate anxiety.
The team of three spend the majority of their time on Neptune
children's ward, paediatric outpatients clinic, paediatrics A&E
and can also be seen in other areas such as MRI, X-ray and
Claire Scott, ward manager Neptune ward, said: "Our hospital
play specialists are integral to providing a positive experience
for not only the children that access the hospital's services, but
for their families too."
The team work alongside the paediatric teams and their role
includes: making the environmental workplace child friendly; using
techniques through play to prepare, teach and help children with
hospital procedures; alleviate anxiety by improving communication;
prevent regression and promote development for the child; and
support the child and family.
Claire added: "The service is moving from strength to strength
and they put the needs of the children at the centre of everything
they do. There is nothing better for a manager to see, than a child
leaving the department hearing them say 'I don't want to go home
mummy, I want to stay here, I like it here!' Our team of play
specialists make what can be a terrifying experience into one that
a child feels they can cope with."
PHOTO (l-r): Lisa Kawa-Akenbo (with toddler Eliza
Richardson), Yvonne Curtis and Janet Worth.